And the beat goes on.
For the Arizona football team, it’s now 15 consecutive losses with no hope in sight.
It’s personal – Arizona’s season motto – should now be: “It’s disheartening.”
That was one of the words that resonated in Jedd Fisch’s post-mortem presser after Northern Arizona’s 21-19 win over host Arizona.
“Embarrassed” was another used by a player.
How else do you explain a season that started with so much promise – hope? – steamroll into a 0-3 start with after an unthinkable loss to Northern Arizona?
More than 30,000 fans came to see an end to a dreaded streak (the nation’s current longest) and left, well, with another loss. Up next? Oregon. Oh, by the way, the announced crowd of 33,481 was the smallest since UA joined the Pac-12 in 1978. The smallest since 1974 when it faced Colorado State (thanks Brian Pederson).
“Our players our hurting right now,” Fisch said. “We have a very hurt locker room.”
“… we have our work cut out for us. We have to get to work immediately.”
What Arizona can’t do is turn the ball over, and it did three times. It has to make key stops, and couldn’t.
It had to run the ball, and couldn’t. It couldn’t pass, either.
Scoring 19 vs. NAU … really?
“I am obviously disappointed in all facets of the game,” Fisch said. “We have to find a way to be better. Coaching … every part of it.”
So, this is what rock bottom looks like? Somewhere out there Kevin Sumlin is thinking – hell, I could have done this.
It does beg the question is losing 70-7 to Arizona State worse than losing 21-19 to NAU?
Take your time on the answer.
What’s clear is all the good will new head coach Fisch built up for the last 10 or so months got washed out in the rain that fell for parts of Saturday night’s game.
“I hope not,” Fisch said when asked if the last few months of positives gets thrown away after what has happened. “I don’t think treating people right should be affected by whether or not we were able to come out with the outcome we wanted. I hope that reaching out to our community and reaching out to our former players into our alumni and and bringing back some of the great ones that are out here will affect what we’re trying to get accomplished.
“We are in year one game three of our season and I’m trying to build something over time here and with that being said, yeah, of course we’re always gonna be frustrated with the outcome (that) we want it to be but we also have to recognize that we’re going to try to see the forest through the trees and not get caught up in one game.”
UA has now had three one games. And one big daze.
Stanley Berryhhill said NAU came out and played “with a chip on their shoulder” and showed it.
Still, it wasn’t good to go through what they just did.
“It’s embarrassing,” Berryhill said. “You don’t want to lose to what most people consider your little brother up north.”
Fisch said he “appreciated the player’s fight” to the end, in closing the gap on Arizona’s final drive before failing to convert the two-point conversion to tie it.
Arizona, again, showed little offensively under Will Plummer, going with Jordan McCloud later in the fourth quarter. He rallied his teammates and gave them hope, enough now to give him a shot at the next start. But that too is under review for Fisch who said he’s tired of the QB carousel.
“It’s a very frustrating situation being in this quarterback derby,” Fisch said. “You don’t want to get to that point of how do you get into that rhythm? That said, maybe experience will help.”
Maybe, maybe not.
It came down to the rally because UA couldn’t get it going offensively despite getting three turnovers, but only turning them into three points.
“We have to be better,” Fisch said, when asked about fans and alumni who are now wondering what’s going on. “We have to come up with some wins. And we need to compete and keep battling.”